3 social commerce insights for event marketers

Event ticketing company Eventbrite has analysed transactions driven through sharing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to determine the value of social sharing actions to event marketers.

 

1. Twitter leads the way in value for events

One share of an event on Twitter can generate $10.90 in revenue to its organiser – two to four times more value than other social channels when sharing information about events.

The study found one share on social media generated an average of $4.80 in revenue to the organiser. While Twitter was the most valuable at $10.90 per share, shares on Facebook generated $4.10 and those on LinkedIn brought in $3.20.

The value of social shares in Australia is well above the global average (3.70), coming second only to Canada.

 

2. Social media drives event traffic

Social media proved also to drive traffic, with a single share resulting in an average of nine additional visits to an event webpage. Again, Twitter led this trend with one share generating 38 additional visits, while LinkedIn drove 11 visits per share and Facebook drove seven visits per share.

Eventbrite international expansion manager Elsita Meyer-Brandt said over the last two years, Twitter’s influence had increased while Facebook’s decreased.

“This is most likely due to the fact that Facebook has a deeper penetration in Australia, leading to more cluttered and potentially less relevant news feeds. On the other hand, Twitter is less saturated, meaning less distraction for users. Also, the 140 character limit means users often need to click on links to see more information.”

 

3. Social events perform best on social media

Eventbrite found the types of events that saw the most value from social media sharing were food events and performances, followed by seminars and music events. In comparison, conventions and participatory sports events showed slightly lower value.

Social and food events saw the highest number of site visits from social media posts, followed by seminars, conferences and entertainment events.

Eventbrite has processed nearly $3 billion in ticket sales in 187 countries worldwide. Since launching in Australia in 2012, it has hosted over 75,000 local events and recently opened an APAC office in Melbourne.

 

Media Monday: Anytime Fitness sells media, MCN expands reach, new Bauer magazine

In Australian media sector news this week, Anytime Fitness launches a media division, MCN expands its youth and children’s reach in television and Bauer Media announces a new home and lifestyle magazine title.

 

Anytime Fitness becomes a media provider

 

Health club Anytime Fitness is branching into paid media with the launch of Anytime Vision, offering advertisers access to a network of digital screens, branded in-club activations and a digital magazine.

Advertisers on board so far include Asics, AIA Vitality, Garmin, Musashi, Flush Fitness, Mr Pink, Vitaco and Bounce Foods.

Odysseus Media, publishers of Men’s Fitness and Shape Magazine, are partnering with Anytime Fitness on the new enterprise.

Brands can now target Anytime Fitness’ member base of more than 350,000 across all states and territories of Australia, both metropolitan and regional.

Anytime Fitness’ members are 63% male, 37% female, 58% Gen Y and 29% Gen X, with an average age of 32.

Anytime Vision general manager Andrew Sneddon said: “Extensive research tells us that our members are busy and time poor; they see health as a priority and understand the importance of keeping fit for maintaining good health. Through Anytime Vision, our partners are able to communicate with Anytime Fitness members in a meaningful way that adds value to them, our franchisees and members.”

 

MCN expands to offer largest commercial TV reach to youth 

 

Multi Channel Network (MCN) has started advertising representation of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) and leading youth publishing brand Sound Alliance.

The new partnerships bring MCN to now hold Australia’s largest commercial television share of 13 to 24-year-olds (30%) between 6am and midnight and the country’s largest combined online and mobile network.

The inclusion of VIMN channels such as MTV, MTV Dance, MTV Music, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr strengthens MCN’s dominance in the youth and children’s markets.

Sound Alliance titles include award-winning pop culture site Junkee and Australian community sites inthemix, FasterLouder, Same Same and Mess+Noise.

MCN is a joint venture between Foxtel and Fox Sports. It now has a monthly online reach of 8.4 million unique audiences and a monthly mobile audience of 4.7 million.

It is now responsible for the advertising interests of 69 television channel brands, 138 websites, 69 optimised mobile sites, 59 apps, four IPTV services and three digital-out-home locations.

 

Bauer Media to launch new Homes+ magazine

 

Bauer Media has announced it will launch a new monthly home and lifestyle magazine in August titled Homes+.

The new magazine will capitalise on Australia’s home decorating and renovation trend, responding to research indicating that three out of five people plan to decorate or renovate in the next 12 months.

Bauer Media Specialist Division publisher Brendon Hill said Homes+ would fill a gap in the market across print and digital channels, complementing the company’s existing homes titles Belle, Australian House & Garden and Real Living.

The company conducted extensive consumer research into the Australian homemaker market including deep product testing and refinement.

“Homes+ will resonate with house-proud Australians looking for practical, affordable and doable solutions – it’s a magazine with the right proposition at the right time,” Hill said.

Homes+ will be supported by a multi-million-dollar marketing campaign spanning magazines, free-to-air television, digital and in-store activations.

 

Facebook trialling new advertising methods in high-growth countries

 

Facebook’s increasing scale, particularly on mobile, is allowing it to help advertisers reach millions of people in high-growth countries with fragmented media landscapes.

Numbers of Facebook users have reached more than 100 million people in India (84% on mobile), 69 million people in Indonesia (87% on mobile) and 87 million people in Brazil (72% on mobile).

Early tests have been positive for Facebook’s ‘missed call’ service, which allows a person to place a ‘missed call’ after seeing an ad on Facebook.

In the return call, the person receives unique content such as music or cricket scores alongside a brand message from the advertiser – all without using airtime or data.

Other Facebook advertising developments in these high-growth markets include geo-targeting of people by state within India, life-stage targeting similar to that available in the US and UK, and improved measurement in partnership with Nielsen.

Nielsen is serving polls to people on phones, providing advertisers with more effective tools to measure brand sentiment, purchase intent and ad recall for the first time on mobile and desktop.

 

Out-of-home advertising industry’s second quarter figures up from last year

 

The out-of-home advertising industry has posted for the 2014 second quarter a 9% increase in net revenue to $138.6 million, up from $127.1 million for the same period in 2013, according to the Outdoor Media Association (OMA).

 
 
Also released today: PwC’s forecast segment summaries from its Australian ‘Entertainment and Media Outlook 2014-2018’, which charts performance across the sector as a whole and 11 individual areas including newspapers, interactive games, music, internet, filmed entertainment, consumer magazines and radio.
 
 

Head researcher apologises for controversial Facebook experiment

The head researcher of a controversial Facebook experiment has apologised, via the social network, after a global media outcry questioning the study’s ethics.

 

Adam Kramer of Facebook’s core data science team took to the social network to explain researchers’ point of view and apologise for any anxiety caused by the experiment.

The study, titled ‘Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks’ was published in scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in June.

Between 11 and 18 January 2012, the Facebook research used a program to manipulate the news feeds of 689,003 users to reduce the number of either negative or positive comments that appeared in a bid to determine ‘emotional contagion’.

“I can understand why some people have concerns about it, and my coauthors and I are very sorry for the way the paper described the research and any anxiety it caused,” Kramer posted.

Debate around Facebook and the study’s ethical issues has surfaced among Facebook users and global media criticising the study, with some users threatening to leave the social network due to a loss of trust.

University of Maryland Professor of Law James Grimmelmann criticised the study in a blog post for failing to allow participants to give informed consent, and argued that its method was harmful.

“The unwitting participants in the Facebook study were told (seemingly by their friends) for a week either that the world was a dark and cheerless place or that it was a saccharine paradise. That’s psychological manipulation, even when it’s carried out automatically,” Grimmelmann wrote.

The paper points out that the research was consistent with the social network’s data use policy but many commentators have said that is irrelevant to Facebook ethical issues.

Cornell University, a partner in the Facebook research, issued a statement explaining that it determined an ethics review of the study was not required as its staff-member, co-author Professor Jeffrey Hancock, was “not directly engaged in human research”.

“The research was conducted independently by Facebook and Professor Hancock had access only to results – and not to any data at any time.”

Kramer’s Facebook apology said: “The actual impact on people in the experiment was the minimal amount to statistically detect it”.

“Nobody’s posts were ‘hidden’, they just didn’t show up on some loads of feed. Those posts were always visible on friends’ timelines, and could have shown up on subsequent news feed loads.”

Kramer admitted that the paper may have failed to make clear the study’s motivations: “The reason we did this research is because we care about the emotional impact of Facebook and the people that use our product. We felt that it was important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out.”

The study ‘s results contrasted with prevailing assumptions, finding that seeing lots of positive posts actually improved Facebook users’ moods rather than creating negativity through emotions such as jealousy (and vice versa).

“When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred,” it said.

 

Ikea Hackers legal action draws support for blogger but Ikea says it’s protecting customers, rights

UPDATE: Ikea Hackers gets call from Ikea following social media outcry, and the pair begin negotiations »

Ikea is facing mass opposition from blog fans across the globe after it took legal action against a blogger, issuing a cease and desist letter to popular Ikea Hackers blogger Jules Yap. The blogger has also received support from a group of marketing professors, but Ikea says it’s just protecting its customers and intellectual property.

Jules Yap’s Ikea Hackers blog has been inspiring fans since 2006 with modifications on and repurposing of Ikea products.

“Hacks, as we call it here, may be as simple as adding an embellishment, some others may require power tools and lots of ingenuity,” the site explains.

Many users in the social media debate have noted that the site uses a similar logo and colour scheme to that of the Swedish giant, but Ikea’s main beef with Ikea Hackers was that Yap had been profiting from advertisements placed on the site.

Ikea initially demanded Yap relinquish her domain name but has since agreed to refrain from legal action provided she remove the advertising.

Yap, a self-confessed ‘crazy fan’ of Ikea had started hosting advertising on the blog to supplement her income as it became more than just a hobby.

She recently updated her blog readers on the situation, describing her disappointment in Ikea’s heavy-handed approach.

“Needless to say, I am crushed. I don’t have an issue with them protecting their trademark but I think they could have handled it better. I am a person, not a corporation. A blogger who obviously is on their side. Could they not have talked to me like normal people do without issuing a C&D?” Yap wrote.

 

Ikea responds

A spokesperson for Inter Ikea Systems BV issued the following statement to Marketing:

“We very much appreciate the interest in our products and the fact that there are people around the world that love our products as much as we do. At the same time we have a great responsibility to customers, who should always be able to trust the Ikea brand. High quality and good service are essential elements of this. Another important aspect is that the many people want to know what really is connected to Ikea – and what is not.

“For that reason the Ikea name and brand must be used correctly. When other companies use the Ikea name for economic gain, it creates confusion and rights are lost.

“As per the agreement with Ikea Systems and Ikea Hackers, Ikea Hackers may continue as a fan-based blog/webpage but without commercial elements, just like it started some years ago.”

 

Social media users and marketing professors side with Ikea Hackers 

The Ikea Hackers Facebook page has attracted a string of supportive comments from Yap’s nearly 135,000 fans.

“Don’t they realise your site is actually helping their business? They should hire you!” Ola Velner posted.

“Bad move, Ikea! 80% of the items I’ve purchased there over the past five years are due to something I saw on Ikea Hackers, not in their catalog,” Eileen Lola Brett posted.

An onslaught of Yap supporters have posted to Ikea’s various Facebook pages around the world a generic message of disappointment.

Even a team of marketing professors from Finland’s Aalto University have banded together against Ikea with a petition urging the company to overturn its decision:

“In our view, Ikea’s decision painfully highlights how being in the right, legally speaking, does not mean you are in the right morally or even strategically. Communities like Ikea Hackers have contributed, without exaggeration, millions of hours of free labor that have significantly benefited the Ikea brand.”

blogger attack, social media debate, facebook, reddit

Meanwhile, social media debates on Reddit have been fiery. Users in support of Yap tout the marketing benefits of free publicity, greater reach and enhanced reputation gained from organically-generated communities:

“These same corporations have PR teams scratching their f***ing heads for ideas on how to force their product on the world. Yet when it happens organically: the lawyers just decide, ‘Nope, shut ‘em down’,” user FrustratingToWatch posted.

“Why not invite her into the fold? Make her a part of the PR team, have a direct link from her site to the Ikea website… she could be paid by how much traffic her site pulls to Ikea’s site, or a stipend or something. It’s an idiotic way for the company go to about thing,” user OuisghianZodahs42 posted.

“Silly move. Ikea Hackers only promoted new ways to use Ikea products. It’s called marketing, which results in sales, and it was free… Ikea profits from the Ikea Hacker DIY culture. One can’t ‘hack’ IKEA without buying their products,” user unGnostic posted.

But amid the mass of support, some other Reddit users have pointed out opposing viewpoints:

“Ikea Hackers runs ads, and makes profit off the ads. Basically it’s profiting off the Ikea name,” user Kermityfrog posted.

“Because they are using Ikea’s logo and branding all over it and it look like it is Ikea affiliated,” user FlappyBored posted.

“It is not all black and white here… the ads are all advertisement for products made specifically for Ikea products but that are not made by Ikea. The Ikea’s competitors ads even reference Ikea products,” user Drudruisme posted.

Precedent for ‘brand versus blogger’ blues

Ikea’s handling of the Ikea Hackers issue is reminiscent of similar heavy-handed grief Canberra-based blogger and Nerf Gun enthusiast Martyn Yang received back in 2012 from toy company Hasbro.

Yang has ceased posting to his blog since receiving a string of accusatory and questioning emails from the company and a suspicious visit from alleged private investigators at his apartment.

Hasbro demanded Yang reveal the sources that gained him access to new-version Nerf Guns that weren’t available in Australia, which he had reviewed on his blog.

Yang quipped back recommending Hasbro conduct an online search rather than hassling a devoted fan.

Both cases are good examples of the tightrope companies walk between protecting their intellectual property and nurturing their online fan communities.

 

Australia/NZ contingent does well at this year’s Facebook Studio Awards

The winners of the 2014 Facebook Studio Awards have been announced today, with Australian and New Zealand ad agencies taking home four of 15 international Facebook Studio Awards.

“We talk a lot about the revolution happening in technology, but this is paralleled by a creative revolution of equal value,” said Mark D’Arcy, Facebook’s chief creative officer. “The Studio Awards don’t simply celebrate the best work; they shine a spotlight on the brands and agencies who are accelerating this change, connecting to the people that really matter and driving growth in their business.”

This year’s Blue Award, the top honour in the awards, went to Droga5 and Heineken USA for ‘If We Made It,’ a Newcastle Brown Ale campaign created to compete with flashier Super Bowl ads.

2014 featured the, “most geographically diverse group of winners in the Awards’ three-year history,” Facebook said in a statement.  This year also introduces a new category highlighting not-for-profit campaigns, Facebook for Good. Our first Blue for Good award went to BBDO and Amnesty International for Trial by Timeline, which makes people aware of egregious criminal sentences being levied by governments around the world.

See the full list of winners below:

Blue

If We Made It — Droga5 and Heineken USA (USA)

Blue for Good

  • Trial by Timeline — Colenso BBDO / AIM Proximity and Amnesty International (New Zealand)

Gold

  • Bentley Burial — Leo Burnett Tailor Made and Brazilian Association of Organ Transplant (Brazil)
  • Try My Hybrid — Saatchi & Saatchi Norway and Toyota Norway (Norway)

Silver

  • Leon Vivien — DDB Paris and Musee de la Grande Guerre (France)
  • Wendy’s Bacon Portabella Melt on Brioche — VML and Wendy’s (USA)
  • The Most Powerful Arm — Finch and Save Our Sons & Duchenne Foundation (Australia)
  • The Smart Phone Line — Colenso BBDO / AIM Proximity and Samsung New Zealand (New Zealand)
  • FootifyFM — Clemenger BBDO and National Australia Bank (Australia)
  • Social Flyer — North Strategic and SportChek (Canada)

Bronze

  • The Longest Bench In The World — Contexta and SO Appenzeller GmbH (Switzerland)
  • The Hornbach Hammer —  HEIMAT Berlin and AG Hornbach Baumarkt (Germany)
  • Reclaim Your Angus — 72andSunny and CKE (USA)
  • Made By You Issue — FoxyMoron and Worldwide Media (India)
  • Playland Hot Seat — Rethink Communications and Playland (Canada)

 

 

Facebook earnings call reveals 59% of its ad revenue now comes from mobile

59% of all Facebook’s ad revenue now comes from mobile with growth coming from all types of marketers, with particular strength from SMB and direct response, according to the key advertising highlights of the social media giant’s earnings call today. Mobile gaming, e-commerce and consumer packed goods also enjoyed a strong performance this quarter. Facebook is reporting nearly 1.28 billion people are now using its network monthly – up 15% from last and 63% of these people use Facebook each day (802 million) – an increase of 21% year-over-year.

The use of Facebook on mobile has also reportedly grown by 34% from this time last year. Facebook are reporting its total revenues were also up (72% year-over-year in the first quarter) and its advertising revenue growth increased to 82%, making it Facebook’s strongest year-over-year advertising growth rate in nearly three years.

“Facebook’s business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014,” said Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. “We’ve made some long term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We’re in great position to continue making progress towards our mission.”

Facebook said in a statement that its aim is to make long-term investments and thoughtful roll outs with particular focus on Instagram ads, premium video ads and ad network test.

 

 

Little and no-cost options for understanding your customers and market conditions

The world’s largest consumer goods companies – the likes of Unilever and Proctor & Gamble – spend squillions of dollars each year on market and competitor research and analysis. Polling, surveys, focus groups, test markets, new product development – all of these techniques are employed to minimise the risk of failure. But how can you understand your market if you don’t have a marketing budget akin to Pepsi’s? Do you trust your gut or are there other no-cost/low-cost options?

The good news is there are loads of resources available to you. The challenge is more likely to be in identifying the most relevant, most reliable sources and information. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. If your business uses Facebook or any other form of social networking to engage with customers or fans, consider carefully what those interactions are revealing. There is a school of thought that people present themselves online as who they desire to be, not who they are. This is leading some market research academics to conclude that Facebook data could be seen as a crystal ball for future consumer intentions.
  2. When did you last step foot inside your local library? The bookshelves are well stocked with advice on everything from project management to sustainable business growth, and with how-to guides to ‘turn clicks into customers’, ‘succeed at retail’ and so on. Modern libraries also maintain subscriptions to local, national and international newspapers, periodicals and databases, providing you with online access to the likes of Harvard Business Review.
  3. Be neither complacent nor naïve about your competitors. If they have a regular newsletter or blog, subscribe to it. If they have a website, monitor it from time to time. If they are hosting an information evening, go along (or send a spy). But also remember that two of Australia’s most successful brick-and-mortar brands, David Jones and Harvey Norman, lost valuable market share by neglecting the threat of new entrants in the form of online (predominantly overseas-based) retailers. The lesson? Tomorrow’s fiercest competitor might be virtually invisible to you today.
  4. Even if you cannot afford to join your local chamber of commerce or industry association you can gain free access to a limited number of useful tools and resources through their websites. For example, the NSW Business Chamber makes available to the public its quarterly Business Conditions Survey along with a range of practical marketing guides. IBISWorld, a business research tool popular with corporate Australia, also issues free industry insights via its monthly newsletter.
  5. Finally, take every opportunity to talk to your customers about what they want, how you compare, how satisfied they are. It is generally far easier and less expensive to grow an existing customer than to win a new one.

 

Facebook isn’t dying but it needs to evolve more

This guest post is by Patrick Kelly, RMIT University.

 

Researchers John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler from Princeton University made headlines last week when they predicted that Mark Zuckerberg’s almighty Facebook would shed 80% of its users by 2017.

The study follows reports that more than 11 million young people have left the social media giant since 2011.

Facebook uncool?

Apparently parents have spoiled the fun, making the social network ‘uncool‘. These revelations seem disastrous for Facebook, especially when one considers the way Cannarella and Spechler, who are mechanical and aerospace engineering academics, equated the rise and fall of Zuckerberg’s empire to that of a disease.

(Check out Facebook’s blistering comeback.)

Nevertheless, debate has been rampant in the past week as to how valid these claims are: will the great and all-powerful Facebook burn out in just a few short years?

Contributing factors to the notion that users are abandoning the site are most certainly people’s concerns over privacy and advertising. This is not surprising at all.

As the internet progresses from a Web 2.0, driven by communication between its users, to a Web 3.0, which will be driven by cooperation with the system itself, we are increasingly foregoing the control we once had over our machines and our online selves.

We are told by experts such as artificial intelligence guru Ray Kurzweil that the more we use systems like Facebook, the more these systems will learn about us, thereby enhancing our own personal online experiences.

Tailored ads and privacy

Such automation means that we are starting to see advertising directed in a more sophisticated way, taking into account what we already ‘like’ when we’re online. For instance, the more you ‘like’ engagement announcements and wedding photos, the more ads you’ll see telling you where to buy wedding dresses online.

For some, this is a good thing. If we are going to be bombarded by advertising, why not make it advertising that is in line with our interests? For others, it feels like an invasion of privacy, where one cannot shake the feeling that their every move is being watched.

This feeling has only increased during the US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance disclosures. In a recent update, Facebook even announced its new right to read Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages on its users’ mobile devices.

Add to these insecurities the forthcoming auto-play, full screen video advertisements that Facebook will use on mobile devices and we are starting to get an idea of how these revelations of the network’s demise came about. What began as an innovative way to connect with friends, family and colleagues seems to be flying too close to the sun.

Beyond advertising and privacy concerns is what Facebook is doing to our everyday behaviour and demeanour. The University of Michigan recently found through a study that the more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next time we text-messaged them; the more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time.

Put simply, Facebook is making us sad. The only way to avoid this sadness, apparently, is to keep the social network out of our lives.

It all sounds rather dire. Why would we continue using a platform that seems to only use us for ad revenue and in return gives us the gift of depression? Maybe Cannarella and Spechler were right in equating Facebook to a disease.

One argument in favour of Facebook’s survival is that, while the Western world is starting to opt out, more and more users are emerging in Asia and Africa as access to technology grows in these regions.

Last week, Bill Gates pointed to the benefits of the digital revolution in areas currently affected by poverty, saying that such developments will help countries to “learn from their most productive neighbours and benefit from innovations”.

Such regions will develop quickly, partly as a result of the adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as Facebook, and this is a major area where Zuckerberg and his colleagues could do some good.

Not dead yet

It seems, then, that Facebook might not be going away any time soon. While its saturation of the Western world might be dropping, its presence is expanding in the East.

As we head towards Web 3.0, however, Facebook must engage with the best characteristic of new technology:

  • It must find a way to use automation to the advantage of us all
  • It must overcome the challenge of making us feel comfortable with a lack of privacy
  • It must be there when we need it, but stay out of our lives the rest of the time, thereby making us feel better about our own lives
  • It must invest in the wellbeing and future of citizens in developing nations
  • It must not force-feed us advertisements
  • It must act as both a safe and fun environment for parents and children alike
  • It must evolve with developments in technology, while also meeting the wants and needs of its users.

Only then will it ensure its own future. That sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?

The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation.
Read the original article.

Facebook still top dog overall but losing traction with youngsters: report

New stats from GlobalWebIndex show that Facebook is still top dog in the social media world in general, however there are signs that its rein may not last forever with small social media apps and messaging services rising quickly, especially among younger demographics.

The data shows Facebook has seen a decline in the number of people using it each month with the number of teenagers using the site falling in 2013, however the extent of the overall decrease in active users appears to be unremarkable with a decrease of 3% between Q2 and Q4.

Apart from in China, Facebook is still the number one social network in all parts of the world with 83% of global internet users being members and 49% of those using it regularly.

The research also found that compared to the other leading networks, its members are the most likely to visit more than once a day and to carry out a wide range of activities. Not bad for a social network that’s been around as long as Facebook.

Certainly, the site does have a number of challenges to face. When we look at the age profile of its members, it’s the 25-34s – rather than the much-coveted 16-24 group – who form the biggest share of active users,

The ageing profile of Facebook users appears to be shifting upwards with the 25-34 year-old age group being more active on the sight than their 16-24 year-old counterparts. This was possibly led by Instagram enjoying a 23% increase in usage and self-proclaimed “front-page of the internet” Reddit enjoying a 13% hike. Pinterest, Quora, Tumblr and Google+ all recording increases of 6%.

GlobalWebIndex founder, Tom Smith writes in a blog about the research that, “the biggest trend to watch is the huge growth seen for mobile messaging apps. While Facebook Messenger saw a global increase of 13% – and remains the most popular social tool competing in this space – there were much more dramatic rises is estimated user numbers for WhatsApp (+35%), Snapchat (+54%) and, most significantly, WeChat (+379%).”

“Usage is highest among the 16-24s for these messenger apps– indicating that the biggest challenge for Facebook and other major networks will be to maintain the interest of its increasingly mobile-first audiences within a social media landscape that is more diverse than ever,” writes Smith.

All figures mentioned here are global averages, excluding China. GlobalWebIndex conducts quarterly research across 32 markets, representing nearly 90% of the global internet audience. Check out the summary report on SlideShare:

GWI Social Summary – January 2014 from GlobalWebIndex

Facebook readying to launch video advertising

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Facebook has been quietly working away at creating another potential source of advertising revenue much to the delight of investors. The social network has been testing video advertisements that show will show up in users’ News Feeds.

Facebook says the new format will allow its advertisers to “reach a large number of people in a short amount of time, while also improving the quality of advertisements its users see in their news feeds”.

Investors appear to agree with the new plan with Facebook’s shares jumping to an  all-time high of $US55.18 in early Tuesday trading in the US.

The network is reporting a 10% increase in the number of videos watched, liked, shared and commented on since testing the silent auto-playing videos for video content shared between Facebook users since September.

Currently, Facebook features advertisements that automatically start playing without sound when they appear, users can then click on a video to view it with sound, or scroll past it if they’re not interested.

Facebook has not disclosed how long the ads will last however has noted that for mobile users the advertisements are preloaded only when the device is connected to wireless internet and will not consume additional data. No sound will play unless a user clicks or taps on the video.

 

Infographic: Annual Facebook Performance Report 2013

The official Facebook page for the country Australia topped the charts for both number of fans and engagement in 2013, according to the first ‘Annual Facebook Performance Report’ by social media automation tool Social Pulse. Meanwhile, radio and television topped the list of most engaged industries.

Top 10 Facebook pages by number of fans

  1. Australia 4,780,082
  2. Bananas In Pyjamas 2,601,677
  3. Hamish and Andy 1,952,338
  4. Bubble O’Bill Ice Creams 1,258,597
  5. Home and Away (Official) 1,209,734
  6. MasterChef Australia 1,161,103
  7. [yellow tail] 1,019,706
  8. Visit Queensland, Australia 998,792
  9. Coca-Cola Australia 975,613
  10. Domino’s Pizza -Australia 921,406

 

Top 10 Facebook pages by engagement (measured by average of seven-day figures 1 January to 1 December)

  1. Australia 242,380
  2. Babyology 79,543
  3. Fifi and Jules 71,163
  4. B105 67,660
  5. 9 News 66,847
  6. Sunrise 65,301
  7. 2Day FM 55,378
  8. Fox FM 49,142
  9. Black Milk Clothing 45,750
  10. Hungry Jack’s 40,082

 

The full report (link) contains more information including in-depth looks at 26 industries.

The infographic below covers key stats relating to the report, which analysed 119 million combined Facebook fans and 1710 top brand pages in Australia.

Updated_FB-Report-and-Awards-Infographic-2 (1)

Do marketers fake it before they make it? (Or, how to identify a genuine ‘expert’)

In a world where seemingly everyone claims to be an expert in something, how do you identify the real thing?

A friend and PR colleague recently revealed that his process for screening someone who claims to be a ‘social media guru’ is to first gauge how many Facebook or Twitter followers they have. In his mind, for this line of work, there is a clear correlation between followers and credibility.

Most of the people who responded to my friend’s post were in agreement.  I was one of a small minority for whom the concept did not rest comfortably. In my view, having a large number of followers is as likely as anything else to indicate the person is wildly popular or a ‘collector’. After all, studies reveal people use social media to satiate two primary needs:  1) the need to belong; and 2) the need for self-preservation.

Still, I’ve been mulling it over ever since and the serious question remains: in our industry how do you detect if someone really is an expert? Unlike other professions (accounting, law, engineering), and unlike other countries (United Kingdom), there is no embedded industry-wide accreditation scheme for marketers in Australia.

So here are a few tips to help you pre-qualify expertise:

1. To begin with, expertise implies a person has a great deal of experience. Experience comes with time. I’m sorry, it just does. So if you’re under 30, go ahead and shout from the rooftops that you’re a specialist or a budding expert but don’t wish your life away trying to convince yourself and others you’ve already made it.

2. There’s no international standard for job titles. These days, colourful titles are de rigueur.  Simply search LinkedIn for ‘Director of First Impressions’ or ‘Chief Inspiration Officer’ to see what I mean. On the flip side, it’s not uncommon to meet extraordinarily talented and successful people – individuals who truly are experts in their field – who have the most underwhelming business cards. Anyone who’s worked for an American company will know that the vice president title is about as standard there as manager is here. My point? A big title means little.

3. You have to use relevant measures to identify and assess expertise. Using my friend’s social media example, number of followers is an inadequate measure as they could be passive or even personal followers. More relevant metrics would be frequency of interaction, number of fans, or the person’s influence measured through Klout, Kred or PeerIndex scores.

4. Are they really an expert in what they claim? People often claim to have much deeper or broader expertise than they do. And they usually get away with it because those seeking to engage their services don’t have the industry or technical knowledge to know any better. As one authority eloquently pointed out, digital experts build business online; they don’t just create banner ads and microsites. You have to do your research.

5. Ultimately, of course, the most reliable measure is past performance. What has the person actually done or delivered before?  Ask them to be specific, to quantify the results. Ask for testimonials, references. Speak to existing or former clients. Scan their endorsements on LinkedIn. And most of all remember, the world’s changed and it keeps on changing so recency is the new currency.